Monday, September 21, 2015

August into September--ordinary intimacies

August into September, poems
of ordinary intimacies…

pink blossoms 

bounce along the fence, 
ripple, finally find repose, 

simply still


August 6th

Night was long wakefulness,
somehow restful, fog fingers now in the ridge 
to the west, morning sky blueing, cloudless.

The Buddha taught, I think,
the world’s suffering, our own, 
cannot for most finally be resolved, 

but can be faced with equanimity,
for the joy, love and fellowship 
found there also—this, 

we can do.


August 10th

In my absence, my wife pruned the blossoms
where the hummingbirds come to hum. I’ve seen them
return to wonder, as so often we do, at the change,
at loss, seen them in those hovering moments 
before recovery, before reconnection to the reliable 
stream of living inquiry, reconnection to question, 
to what is this, where will it lead, to 
whatever comes next.


August 11th

Mist and fog lay heavy
on the streets here, 
certain signs of summer
finally arrived in full,

the obscured view 
affirmed as real, as true, as
no, we do not see clearly.

Filtered light tells us so.


8/13—Sam Hamil, on Galen Garwood:

         “ He has remained patient, an artist more interested
          in process than wealth, a seer alone…, alone 
        and taking notes.”

And so we return, we see, we watch, 
respond and again return—not so much discipline 

as extended natural curiosity, 
unending tentative touching, taking notes.


Before the sun, horizon. 
Then, pink clouds.


August 19

Garrulousness, yes, perhaps, at times. But I’m told 
real poems shed words like leaves too heavy
to stay till the breeze lets go. 


Unable to touch
a safe place, fatigue
has its way.


From uncertain shifts amidst burnished shadows,
light collects, 




August 20

How many the telling signs

before hearing 
tolling bells

calling our name 



We’re tired, real tired, so
except to reach for the news paper,
the gate will stay closed,
the phone shouldn’t bother,
nor emails either.

Old age has it own ways.
While often ignored, there are times,
without excuse, it simply will not
be refused—good friends 
can do like that.


That old monk hobo
holds out his bowl

without apology—how well
do you hold yours?



Outside, through
the open
window, dogs,

small dogs bark
in morning 
air, without

any thought
of how far
that endless

stretch of air
will carry
voice along.

What of us,
our voices,
do we know?


Looking over
at the altar
where the flower
sits in its vase,

remembering incense
not yet lit, intentions
not realized
but for this remembrance,

wondering if that’s enough.


When I finally realized
how much I’d relied
on my friend as a teacher,

it became clear 
I’d known all the while
it never occurred to her.



The way
I understand

is punctuated

by the fact that

not one of us is ever
lost forever.


Just as we find our way again,
we look first to our feet

before lifting our eyes 
to horizons now somehow new.


September 2

Time passing does not mean something missing.
I mean, when an old friend calls, just answer.



A moment, a day even,
turns more to its own
given clarity

when someone passing 
nods at even the smallest flutter
of meanings we hold close.

Therein, the gateways
to how much
we share.


The winds that’ve been
have left with the night, leaves,
small branches and litter

gathered in shaded corners, 
huddled conversations of time 
gone by so fast.


September 6

Lay facts on me if you must. I promise to consider,
but know I will bend to hold 
only a few,

but for the image, the impressed influence
carried there in themselves, integral to each,
to its own meaning.

Along side the moments at hand, the given.

That we are at all, and as we are, always 

drenched undeniably in light.